Dec 13, 2010
Dec 13, 2010

Fighting Knife

Fighting Knife

late 1800s-early 1900s

Steel, leather, cord, and walrus ivory inlaid with abalone shell

Overall: 3.8 x 4.8 cm (1 1/2 x 1 7/8 in.); Blade: 19.1 cm (7 1/2 in.)

Gift of J. H. Wade 1916.720


After Europeans introduced firearms, the native dagger gradually transformed from a weapon into a status symbol worn in a sheath that hung around the neck. That is probably the case with these daggers which have elaborately carved hilts. One depicts a grotesque head surmounted by a fish, perhaps a salmon, and the other shows a bear's head over a supine human.

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